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    Rollover or transfer of super benefits

    Super benefits may, in certain circumstances, be rolled over or transferred within the super system rather than cashed out. Subject to the rules of your provider, benefits may be directly transferred from one complying provider to another complying provider.

    You can choose to rollover your super to consolidate multiple super accounts. This allows you to keep track of your super and reduces the amount of fees and charges you incur.

    Consider all relevant information before deciding to rollover your super. Ask your provider about any:

    • fees or charges that apply
    • loss of entitlements (for example, life insurance)
    • other information about the effect this transfer may have on your super benefits.

    You should also consult the receiving provider to make sure they accept a rollover of benefits.

    No tax is payable on the amount rolled over to another provider until you choose to withdraw your super.

    If a benefit is paid directly to you prior to being paid into another provider, the payment is considered to be outside the super system and is treated as a super benefit rather than as a rollover and tax may apply.

    The preservation rules still apply to benefits that are rolled over to another complying provider. This means benefits can only be accessed once you meet a condition of release.

    Your super may be rolled over to another provider without you making a request. These are called involuntary rollover super benefits and may occur when two providers merge or due to a successor fund transfer.

    How to apply

    Whole of super balance transfers can be requested by:

    Completing the rollover or transfer request using ATO online services allows you to view all your super accounts and removes the need for you to provide proof of identity documents to your provider.

    The forms provide most of the mandatory details a provider needs to arrange the transfer and can be lodged online or by paper. In some instances the provider may contact you to verify information provided or to seek additional information before processing the request.

    Partial transfers can only be requested directly with the provider.

    How tax applies

    A rollover of a super benefit is not assessable. Don't include it on your tax return as income. The tax treatment of the rollover benefit will arise when you access the benefit from the receiving provider.

    If you have a rollover super benefit consisting wholly or partly of an untaxed element that exceeds the untaxed plan cap amount, the paying provider will withhold the tax payable on the excess amount.

    Rolling over between super providers

    You should speak to your provider and a financial advisor before deciding to roll over your super to another provider, during the period of certification. Although you may roll over your lump sum payment between super providers in accordance with Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994, these amounts will not be considered as 'roll-over superannuation benefits' for the purposes of income tax legislation.

    The practical tax consequences of this are that:

    • you will be deemed to have been paid a tax-free lump sum
    • your paying provider will be treated as having paid a benefit to you for income tax purposes
    • your receiving provider will be treated as having received a personal contribution from you
    • your personal contribution will be counted towards your concessional or non-concessional contributions cap, depending on whether, and to what extent, you have claimed a deduction (if eligible) for the contribution.

      Last modified: 29 Aug 2019QC 37785